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  • Rev. Helena Martin

The Greatest Digital Christmas Pageant (Ever)

It’s a good thing I was on “mute,” because I couldn’t stop laughing.

The first video we recorded for the digital Christmas pageant was Zach, the sheep. He was our only human-acting-as-animal this year, and boy did he pull his weight. On cue, he baa’d nonstop for several minutes.

There was a real artistry about it. He varied his pitches and vowel sounds, trying out different sheep voices. Luckily, my muted laughing didn’t impede Zach’s performance.

You never know what you’re going to get with Christmas pageants. Kids are delightfully unpredictable. And, more importantly, they have a way of getting to the heart of a narrative. It makes even the same story, the same script, the same words, exciting all over again, every year.

We had to do things differently this year, to keep everyone safe. I probably spent way too much time filming and then editing this video. But the process was such a delight; the time I was working on it flew by.

The kids did an amazing job of telling the story of the birth of our Savior. Each of the little ones is cuter than the last, and the older ones ably provided the storytelling structure. Parents wrestled with costumes and Zoom backgrounds, and I battled my video editing program and YouTube closed captions. Jenn conscripted 15 kids into service during a busy time, and Matt made the hymns happen against all odds.

Together, we told the story of Christmas—not only in the words of the video but in its very spirit: Jesus is present with us, always, and especially when we are gathered together in his name. I feel God’s presence when I watch this video.

Every time Luke walks on camera, holding Nellie the guinea pig, I can’t help but smile. Were there guinea pigs in the stable with Jesus and the shepherds? Almost certainly not. But were there smiles at the silliness of children and the joy of Jesus’ birth? There must've been. Imagine the joy of that night! May this pageant bring you Christmas cheer and the deep sense of God’s presence, now and always.


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